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10 Shocking Secrets From Leave It to Beaver

Leave It to Beaver was a classic sitcom that aired for six seasons from 1957 to 1963. It was immensely popular in the United States during the time that it aired, and even many decades later, it is still referenced in a lot of pop culture. This iconic sitcom followed the Cleaver family, and the main character of the show was the son of the Cleavers, named Theodore. Among his friends and family, however, he was known more commonly as “The Beaver,” which is where the name of the sitcom came from.

Two writers, Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, got the idea for the show after observing their children. They realized just how interesting and hilarious the life and viewpoint of a child could be, and thus the original idea for Leave It to Beaver was born. While most sitcoms in the 1950s and 1960s focused on families, the main characters were usually adults. When Leave It to Beaver aired, it was the first primetime sitcom that was centered around the life of a child. It was also groundbreaking because while Beaver got into plenty of trouble as a young boy, his parents were never viewed as the perfect caregivers and disciplinarians. Often, the show displayed the struggles of parenting, something every American family could relate to.

It Lasted Until June 20, 1963

This lovable show ended on June 20, 1963, in a natural and satisfying way. As the main character Beaver prepares to enter high school, his elder brother, Wally, prepares to leave for college. Because much of the show focused on their dynamic as brothers, it wouldn’t make sense for the show to continue running after the two were separated.

Even though the show ended ago, however, it remains popular in many households across America, and reruns still air on some channels. Sadly, the show never won any awards or earned a place on any top 30 lists. However, much of the older generation can agree that the show played an important part in American culture.

Of course, while most people are aware of the on-screen events of this lovable sitcom, there are many behind the scenes facts that few are aware of. In today’s video, we’re going to look at ten shocking secrets of Leave It to Beaver. Make sure you stick around until the very end, where we’ll reveal the real reason the show ended. Before we get started, be sure to leave a like on this video, and don’t forget to subscribe and click that notification bell so you can stay up to date with all of our videos!

Facts Verse Presents: 1o Shocking Secrets From Leave It to Beaver

Jerry Mathers Wore an Adorable Outfit to His Audition

Jerry Mathers played the coveted role of Theodore Cleaver, also known as “The Beaver.” He was only five years old when he auditioned for the role, and while his parents were no doubt excited and hopeful he would land the role, Jerry Mathers had bigger things on his mind.

The casting directors were enamored by the outfit he wore to his audition: A Cub Scouts uniform. However, the uniform wasn’t just for show. Jerry Mathers had a Cub Scouts meeting scheduled right after the audition, and he was so excited to go that he was eager to get the audition over as soon as possible. The casting directors were so endeared by his integrity and wholesome honesty that they knew nobody else could play the role as well as him.

Jerry Mathers Had an Extensive Acting Resume

You wouldn’t think a five-year-old boy would have had that much success at such a young age. After all, most young boys spend most of their time playing with toys and romping around outside. Jerry Mathers, however, discovered success when he was just two and a half years old. In downtown Los Angeles, Mathers went with his mother to the Broadway Shopping Mall. A store employee thought he looked adorable and asked if he would like to model for their store’s catalog. Soon, Jerry Mathers found himself in commercials, movies, and television shows. Before his audition for Leave It to Beaver, he had already appeared in seven films!

The Show Had a Groundbreaking Series Finale

Many popular sitcoms nowadays go out with a bang, and it is common practice to play flashbacks of the show’s highlights, like in the iconic Seinfeld series finale. However, what many people don’t know is that the trend started with Leave It to Beaver. The show was so deeply beloved across the country that the creators knew it had to end in a satisfying way. As a result, they decided to make a designated series finale, to give the series some closure. The series finale of Leave It to Beaver was called “Family Scrapbook,” and the main characters of the show all got together to relive memories from old photos. If you’re grateful to Leave It to Beaver for inventing the grand series finale, click the like button to let us know!

June Cleaver’s Clothes Weren’t Just a Fashion Statement

Barbara Billingsley played June Cleaver, and her character quickly became a symbol for middle-class motherhood. She is well-known for her iconic heels and pearl necklace. However, the costume choices go deeper than looks.

When you’re casting a show with young characters, you’ll have to be prepared for some growth spurts. It wasn’t long before Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow, who played Theodore and Wally Cleavers respectively, outgrew the actor who played their mother. As a result, the costume designers decided to put Barbara Billingsley in heels, so she could remain taller than them. The heels also helped Barbara develop her character further, and they fit her formal and proper personality well.

Meanwhile, Barbara decided to wear a string of pearls around her neck for a rather different reason. She had a surgical scar on her neck that she didn’t want audience members to see, and chose to conceal it with a stylish necklace.

The Show Never Officially Stated Where the Cleaver Family Lived

Hardcore fans spent many years theorizing which state the Cleaver family lived in. The only time the show ever specified a location is when they mentioned that the family lived in a town called Mayfield. However, the ambiguous name doesn’t narrow down the options. After some hunting, however, a few dedicated fans came up with the theory that the family lived in Wisconsin.

In one episode, Wally mentioned his high school band competing in the neighboring city of Madison, which is located in Wisconsin. The second hint came when the Cleaver family embarked on a trip to watch the Green Bay Packers. Despite the convincing evidence, the creators of the show never mentioned an official location.

Frank Bank Had Some Career Difficulties After the Show

Frank Bank had a successful run playing the character Lumpy in Leave It to Beaver. However, he was dismayed to find that the show ended up destroying the rest of his acting career. His role as Lumpy was so iconic that directors simply couldn’t envision him playing any other role. Sadly, Frank Bank was unable to land any roles after Leave It to Beaver. Don’t feel too bad for him, though; he found a new career as a stockbroker!

Hugh Beaumont Could Never Fully Enjoy the Show

Hugh Beaumont played the father of the Cleaver family, Ward Cleaver. While millions of Americans adored his portrayal of the character, Hugh had a hidden resentment towards the show. After the pilot aired, the show was picked up unexpectedly quickly. As a result, Hugh Beaumont had to fly to Los Angeles sooner than expected. The rest of his family followed more slowly, in a car. Usually, Hugh would drive his family from Minnesota to Los Angeles, but he simply didn’t have the time. Instead, he left his son Hunter in charge of driving his wife and mother-in-law over. Sadly, Hunter crashed their car, and Beaumont’s mother-in-law died in the accident. This left Beaumont bitter towards the show, and he was affected by grief for many years.

Tony Dow Was the Perfect Choice for Wally

While Jerry Mathers had plenty of acting experience before Leave It to Beaver, Tony Dow had none. However, he still ended up being the best choice to play the older brother character, Wally. Wally was a high school jock, and Tony Dow was both a swimmer and a Junior Olympian. His athletic experience made him the perfect choice for Wally!

The Marines Turned Down Jerry Mathers

Jerry Mathers wanted to enlist for the Marine Corps, but it wasn’t meant to be. Shortly before he had enlisted, an ex-NFL player had died in action. As a result, the Marine Corps didn’t want another beloved American star to become injured or killed, because it would be bad for publicity. Still, Jerry Mathers did not give up on his dreams. Instead, he joined the Air National Guard.

The Real Reason the Show Ended

Many shows are canceled when ratings drop and they lose profits. However, it seemed that ratings for Leave It to Beaver were only going up. After six seasons, the show was just as popular as ever, if not more so. The real reason the show ended was that Jerry Mathers, the star of the show, decided to quit. He was going into high school, and he wanted to prioritize his education, which was a pretty smart move for such a young kid! The producers could have tried to salvage the show without Jerry Mathers, but they knew it wouldn’t be the same. They decided to end the show after six successful years.

Leave It to Beaver is one of the most popular classic sitcoms in America. Were you more surprised to learn that Jerry Mathers had tons of acting experience when he was just five, or that Tony Dow had no acting experience when he was cast for the role of Wally? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!

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